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Wawrinka details Federer’s influence on his career: “I owe him a lot. Thanks to him I won the Olympics and Davis Cup”

The three-time Grand Slam champion says he would not have achieved what he did without Federer’s friendship and example

Roger Federer et Stan Wawrinka, Jeux Olympiques de Pékin 2008 Roger Federer et Stan Wawrinka, Jeux Olympiques de Pékin 2008

It took Stan Wawrinka a long time to emerge from the shadow of Roger Federer, the legendary Swiss blazing a trail at the top of the men’s game and leaving little room for others to follow.

While Federer raced to world No 1 and dominated the game, Wawrinka was 28 before he won his first Grand Slam title, at the Australian Open, in 2014.

Wawrinka eventually went on to win three Grand Slam titles, Olympics doubles gold medal (with Federer, in 2008) and Davis Cup (2014), things he said would not have been possible but for Federer himself.

“When I arrived, Roger was already at the top of his game. He took me on like a big brother. He helped me, we trained a lot together. I was lucky enough to be able to work with him a lot, in training and in tournaments. In the Davis Cup, we shared a lot of things. Afterwards, he became a friend. We were on the same level, not in terms of our careers, but in terms of our behaviour and our mutual support,” Wawrinka said in an interview with French TV channel Canal +.

“I owe him a lot in my career. There were positive things. I grew and improved thanks to him. He helped me a lot. Thanks to him, I won the Olympic Games and the Davis Cup. Those are two of the biggest titles of my career.”

Wawrinka: “I was always going to be light years behind”

Wawrinka knew he would never reach the heights that Federer achieved but said he would always be grateful to have come along at the same time as his fellow Swiss.

“It’s sure that coming in behind him, especially in Switzerland, no matter what results I had, it was always going to be light years behind him anyway,” he said.

“No one can do what he did, at least not in Switzerland. What I do, I do as well as I can. You have to be able to appreciate this kind of career.”

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